By testing anti-ship ballistic missiles in remote deserts of Xinjiang here’s how China is challenging US power projection

China anti-ship ballistic missiles

Chinese PLAN launched a new hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile from a Project 055 destroyer

Photo : Twitter

New Delhi: China is honing its ship-killing skills for potential future conflicts by testing anti-ship ballistic missiles in the remote deserts of Xinjiang.
New satellite photographs have revealed that China is testing ‘ship killer’ missiles on new target sites in Xinjiang’s Taklamakan Desert.

According to the satellite photos, Beijing has established huge target ranges along the eastern edge of the desert and several factors including the location and strikes on these sites suggest that the range is meant for testing ballistic missiles.

‘China’s ASBMs present an increasingly significant threat to warships’

United States Naval Institute (USNI) has expressed concern over China’s hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) saying they present an increasingly significant threat to warships.
In another of its report, USNI said that the Chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) can strike carriers and other US vessels at a range of 2000 km.
Calling the range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile significant, the report said that it provides China with the capability to destroy a US supercarrier in a single strike.

China has rapidly expanded its ASBMs portfolio by developing missiles like the DF-21D and DF-26 which are land-based.

Challenging American power projection

It has also developed another type of air-launched missile with unknown designation which can be carried by the H-6 bomber.

According to the Missile Threat project, China is developing manoeuvrable anti-ship ballistic missiles, MIRVs, and hypersonic glide vehicles and the deployment of these advanced missiles will be a big threat to the United States and the way it projects its power overseas.
In April, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) released video footage of a Chinese warship, the Type 055 cruiser, firing a YJ-21 hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missile.

Advanced missiles to boost China’s anti-access/area-denial capabilities

Reporting on China’s naval capabilities the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) said that Beijing is also developing hypersonic glide vehicles and if they are incorporated into Chinese ASBMs, it would be extremely difficult to intercept them.

These advanced missiles will boost China’s anti-access/area-denial capabilities.

This new target in the Xinjiang desert was discovered by All-Source Analysis (ASA) with more details revealed by high-resolution satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies.

Damien Symons, an independent defense analyst, located another similar naval base target about 190 miles southwest.

The Chinese missiles are likely to use infrared, optics, or radar to form a picture of the target so that they can then adjust their trajectory to land exactly on the target.